Premier Foodservice has launched the first ever Dysphagia Chef of the Year competition with the aim of supporting and improving standards of catering for dysphagia sufferers across the country.
Mark Taylor, foodservice channel controller at Premier Foods, said: "This competition is the first of its kind for the industry and the next phase in our ambition to help improve standards of catering for dysphagia sufferers. Ensuring individual nutritional needs are met can be a challenge and many factors need to be considered including training and education, the mealtime environment, the use of nutritional supplements and the provision of assistance to eat.
"We see this competition as a key opportunity to showcase the skills of chefs and caterers working in the care, healthcare and education sector who have a really important role to play in catering for dysphagia sufferers."
Caroline Lecko, national patient safety lead at NHS England, added: "Ensuring that people with conditions such as dementia and dysphagia have nutritious and appetising meals is essential for maintaining an individual's health and wellbeing and can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life. For many of these people it is also paramount that the meals provided are as safe as possible in relation to texture and consistency.
"Premier Foodservice has continued to demonstrate that nutritious, appetising, texture-modified meals can be created using the National Descriptors for Texture Modification and the ingredients you have in your store cupboard. I believe the Dysphagia Chef of the Year competition will provide an excellent platform to raise the profile of the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our care and will also demonstrate the essential role that chefs and cooks have in improving the nutritional care these people receive."
To find out more information about the competition and Premier Foodservice's leading Healthcare Solution Programme, visit www.premierfoodservice.co.uk